Debate Dissection Part 1

Posted on October 21, 2009


Moderator David Gass of the Highlands Coalition opened by telling the audience what was at stake: the mayor of Lynn has executive power over all building and services in the city. In other words, he or she is the CEO in charge of a $225 million budget as well as chair of the school committee.

Mayor Clancy’s opening remarks emphasized his Democratic credentials. As I listened I couldn’t help but think of the opposite of Democrat. He clearly recognized the city’s role as a gateway community for immigrants and refugees in the state. He vowed to continue Democratic initiatives under his watch such as the new New American Center, which he said “provides linguistically accessible social services” to the immigrant community. He criticized the last Republican administration as unfair to retirees and disabled.

Judy Flanagan Kennedy contended that “if you put all our positions side by side on a piece of paper, you’d have a hard time telling who was Democrat and who was Republican. “Don’t label me,” she said. She emphasized the Republican ideal of meritocracy blind to outward appearance.

Flanagan Kennedy used her opening remarks to promote a compelling (in my view) plank of her platform. She is for posting city budgets, council meeting minutes and agendas on the city’s website. She wants to extend cable TV coverage to Council subcommittee and School committee meetings. Sunshine is the best disinfectant. She also panned what she alleged is the current exclusion of women and minorities on the city boards and commissions.

Posted in: local government